Hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge

I live in Yunnan province, which is located in southwestern China. Because it is in the Yungui plateau, there are numerous mountains in my hometown, which provide hikers like me with so many beautiful places to enjoy and take photos to share with my friends.

Last November, my husband and I hiked to the Tiger Leaping Gorge and was excited by the majestic scenery.

Tiger Leaping Gorge is a canyon on the Golden Sands River---a branch of the Yangtze River, 60 km north of the old town of Lijiang. Around 15 km in length, the gorge is located where the river passes between 5,596 m Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and 5,396 m Haba Snow Mountain in a series of rapids under steep 2000-meter cliffs.

Look down from the hiking path, the first beautiful scenery was the second curve of the Yangtze River, the river seems so broad and the cars on the road seem as small as beetles. It was sunny, the sky was blue and we were lucky to see the 13 peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain very clearly.

The mountain path was rugged and sometimes it was so narrow that it seemed that it could fall down the cliff without caution. I was exhausted by climbing the 9 corners and the 18 curves, fortunately, the beautiful scenery on the road made me forget my tiredness. Before sunset, we got a guesthouse called Halfway to have a rest. The boss was a local, but he can speak very good English and they could provide Western-style food like pizza.

Going down the hill was much easier, so it was not tired on the second day. About 2 hours walking, we reached the middle section of the gorge. In the midst of the river's mouth is a large rock that is positioned at the gorge's narrowest section-only 30 meters wide. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point, hence the name. We could hear the thunderous rushing water very far from the river. Approaching the river, we were shocked by the magnificent scene, so we took a lot of photos, but I think the spectacular scene is beyond the photos and the words that I could use to convey.

Walking through the path, we got “a thread of sky”----because the cliffs in this section are even steeper and the gorge is so narrow that looking above, the sky is reduced to a barely seen thread, hence the name. On the way, we met a local man, he asked us whether we would like to see a Water-eroded cave near the river and there are many beautiful stalactites on the cave. Of course, we couldn’t miss the chance; we followed him down through some very steep ladders, which were set up by them, to the cave. The stalactites on the caves were unique, but because of the poor light, we couldn’t take good photos. Seeing thought the cave, the cliffs seemed steeper, and because the sun couldn’t illuminate so deep, the deep color of the water made us feel absolutely terrified.

It was a wonderful journey.

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July 26, 2012



July 25, 2012


Nice places.

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Photo credits: Sunflower799.